Monday 23 December 2019 - 19:08

Mehrdad Oskouei: A prospect involving Oscar can be foreseen for Iranian documentary cinema

Mehrdad Oskouei believes that today’s Iranian documentary cinema meets global criteria and a prospect in Oscar can be seen for it.
Mehrdad Oskouei: A prospect involving Oscar can be foreseen for Iranian documentary cinema
Oskouei who’s a member of the International Competition in 13th Cinema Verite Festival, stated: “I think documentary cinema is going to grant a very significant achievement for Iran. This achievement may be attractive propositions that Iranian documentary films could have for our narrative cinema and they will move shoulder to shoulder and sometimes ahead of fictional cinema.”
He continued: “In recent years, Iranian narrative cinema status has been weakened on an extensive basis in prestigious international festivals throughout the world. However some Iranian documentary filmmakers have managed to find status on prestigious international ceremonies. I think it provides a great opportunity for young and experienced Iranian documentary makers to open a new path by working vigorously and actively and also by endeavor, education and learning new experiences. So they can reach a level that Iranian cinema might be known with novel documentary films in the world. I hope that films in this year’s Cinema Verite, achieve this purpose for Iranian cinema and qualified Iranian films can find a good status in big film conventions, TVs, public screenings and cinematic literature.”
The elite Iranian documentary filmmaker added: “This year, as a member of the International Competition Jury, I was able to watch the films with Karol Piekarczyk and Zlatinka Rousseva, as well as discuss extensively with these two cinema figures. This indicates that we have so much to learn from world’s cinema. After watching the films competing in international section, these dear collaborators selected some of the films to display at the festivals held in their homelands, the fact, which indicates meritorious choices of Cinema Verite.”
Cinema Verite, the Best Festival in the Middle East
Oskouei continued: “I consider Cinema Verite, the best festival in the middle east. This hasn’t achieved easily and I think Mr. Tabatabaei Nejad, the director of the last 7 Cinema Verite Festival has done a very good job. On the other hand, Mr. Hamidi Moghadam, current festival director and his team knows the world’s documentary cinema very well. It’s because considering his TV programs, he’s attended every important documentary festival in the world and follows the films continuously. Therefore, one can claim that Cinema Verite is alive and wants to introduce a growing and up to date generation to Iran’s documentary cinema to be the most important storytellers of Iranian cinema.”
He added: “We should introduce a new face to the global cinema. One who has creative nature and owns his/her personal voice and path. One who’s found a unique expression on his/her own. This is the approach we must take not making a film like Asghar Farhadi as a director or a copy from Abbas Kiarostami.”
Oskouei also said: “I’ve made films in youth detention centers for years and I’ve managed to find a personal expression for myself. This is my path. I planned to make six films in prison and I’ve made four so far and have two to make. But my concern is not just prison and profoundly care for the shape and form of the stories that I narrate. I’ve been researching on the matter for years now and the world knows that, but in Iran they keep saying: ‘really? The next one is in prison too?’ I do not see it as a bad thing but an experience that I want to have as a filmmaker. Of course, I might become the worst failure among Iranian directors, but allow me to experience.”
Emphasizing on the importance of the film’s narrative form and structure, Oskouei explained: “Narrative form is significantly important for me. When they watched ‘Sunless Shadows’ on the IDFA festival, they were surprised and said how its narrative form, narration’s design and structure is different from your previous film. I’m not saying these things to brag, in fact my big wish is that ‘Sunless Shadows’ outdo my previous work and my bigger wish for my next film, ‘Years Without Months’ to outdo ‘Sunless Shadows’. I always wish that my films get to be watched by people, then I can express my concerns and my next film watched more and better than the last one. Hopefully, we documentary makers can create great films together and improve the Iranian narrative cinema, short cinema and animation to its pertinent status.”
Finally, he said: “Today, Iranian documentary cinema managers move forward following and alongside documentary filmmakers. A few years ago, we get a chance to be in top five movies of Academy Awards and this year ‘Finding Farideh’ selected for Oscar as Iran’s representative. I think documentary cinema will shine on Oscar in the years to come and I hope same happens for Iranian short films and animations. I sincerely hope that in the next decade, we see Academy Awards not only from the Iranian documentary cinema but from animation and short films too.”
Story Code: 7517
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